Few films will hit the screens of this year’s 78th Venice Film Festival with more hype around them than Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.”
“Dune” is set in the distant future, when noble houses lead a feudal system with entire planets as their fiefs. Its protagonist, Paul Atreides, is the son of Duke Leto Atreides and Lady Jessica, a member of the matriarchal religious sect called the Bene Gesserit.
The story begins with the family ordered to relocate to the desert world of Arrakis and oversee the harvest of melange, commonly called spice, a drug which drives the entire economy of the “Dune” universe. The move is ordered by Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, who sees the popular family as a threat to his own control as the supreme head of state and works with Atreides greatest rival, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, to eliminate the Atreides upon their arrival.
Only partially successful in their plans, the two schemers inadvertently initiate a series of events that will redefine interstellar politics and the social order of humanity forever.
Below, five things we think you may want to know before watching Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited adaptation, premiering this week in Venice.